I liked being on two wheels, but wanted to be lazy. As a Microsoft Intern, I took MSF’s RiderCourse. It’s great if you’re curious about motorcycling & want to learn to ride. It’s also great if you’re already riding, and want to learn some safety skills. It’s directly derived from studies of how & why motorcyclists get into accidents.
A year after joining Microsoft, I bought a 1978 Honda CB400 T2 ($400). I figured that it was enough like a bicycle to maintain myself, so it’d be cheap to own.
After a year of riding, I took MSF’s Experienced RiderCourse, with Eric Gunnerson as my instructor. It was a good class, and made me a better, safer rider for sure. If you ride, I’d recommend you take it periodically to brush up on your skills.
The gas tank was really rusty, and the rust would travel through the fuel line and jam up the float valves, causing them to overflow & drool gasoline on the road. I’m sure that would have looked very cool if it caught fire. It was always breaking down, such that I carried tools everywhere I went.
Once I hopped on the bike at 7am and rode to Canada. It took 3x longer than in a car, because of limited top speed & the need to refill the small gas tank every 55 minutes. After I ate lunch, I called my wife up at work and said “guess where I am?”. “Downstairs?” she asked. “No, Canada!” I responded. Heh. The things we live for…
The other big ride on that bike was Seattle, WA to Eugene, OR. It took NINE hours. Wife in the Saturn, trunk full of tools & parts, just in case. Riding back it rained the whole way, and my hands turned purple from the dye in the gloves.
I haven’t had the time to maintain it, so it’s been in non-working condition for a long time. It’s hard to find a mechanic that wants to work on an old piece of junk like this.